Irony In Sophocles' Oedipus The King

790 words - 3 pages

Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus

In the play "Oedipus," irony is used frequently as and as eloquently by Sophocles to the reveal theme of seeking knowledge. Not knowing the King of Thebes, Oedipus, gives speeches on finding the murderer of the King of Laias and how wretched the poor soil will be when the truth is revealed. " Then once more I must bring what is dark to light…, whoever killed King Laios might- who knows?-might decide at any moment to kill me as well. By avenging the murder of the King, I protect myself, (Sophocles 1109). The speech shows how dedicated Oedipus in the pursuit of the murderer and not only the avenge of the King but to save himself. He will not be saving but adding down to his life. Oedipus doesn't realize he is in pursuit of himself. He continues his speech "Moreover: If anyone knows the murderer to be foreign, Let him not keep silent: he shall have his reward from him," ( 1112). With his own words he asks for the truth. But he can't handle the truth, for he has no idea what he is asking for or for whom he is searching for. He also states that he wants the people of his country to outcast the murderer once he is discovered. "I solemly forbid the people of this country, Where power and throne are mine, ever to receive that man or speak to him , no matter who he is…, ( Sophocles 1112). He fears the oracle and wants to do it right by it. But in doing so he will seclude himself from his own people as well as his family. He even prays to God asking him to punish the murderer severely with no avail. "I pray that that man's life be consumed in evil and wretchedness… And as for me, this curse applies no less," ( 1112). He is sure that that the curse doesn't apply to him, so he is willing to announce this publicly. He doesn't know that the old man he killed was King Laois. His only concern at this time is to free the city from sickness. He later announces that the King if he had not been killed would have had children and he would act as Laois' son and avenge his father's death. "I say I take the son's part, just as though I were his...

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